‘I’m not aware Metuh was my classmate in Law School’ – Justice Abang

Following the revelation that he was a classmate of embattled National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, Justice Okon Abang has said that he had no relationship with Metuh either as a practicing lawyer or while in school.

Justice Abang stated this referral to a petition written by Metuh calling for his case of corruption to be transferred to another Judge in the Abuja High Court.

In his response dated March 23rd and obtained by The Nation, the Judge said: “With respect to the first issue that the petitioner Emeka Etiaba (SAN) stated that the 1st defendant in Charge FHC/ABJ/CR/05/2016 was my classmate in the Nigerian Law School, my Lord, for the records, I was at the Law School in 1987/88 Academic Session.”

“I am not aware that Olisa Metuh was my classmate in the Nigerian Law School. I cannot recall seeing him in the time session in my time. In the law school, we were over 1,000 students and we had then two sessions, morning that I attended. He is not from my place, Oron, in Akwa Ibom State. I did not see him as a student in University of Calabar that I attended between September 1983 till June 1987.”

“I have never met him in practice anywhere in the country before I was elevated to the bench in June 2009. Again, he claimed he met me in Le’ Mariden Uyo late last year. I was not in Le’ Meriden Uyo late last year . I had no function that I attended in Le’ Meriden Uyo late last year. I did not meet him in Le’ Meriden Uyo late last year.”

“If the records show that he is a lawyer and was called to Nigerian Bar on November 3, 1988, which record I am yet to see, that cannot affect the facts and the law. I attended recently my class reunion meeting in Abuja, Lagos and Enugu, I did not see Olisa Metuh in the places I mentioned. I am not related to Olisa Metuh in any way, I do not know where he comes from.”

On the accusation that his most of his rulings had favored the prosecution, Justice Abang stated that: “As regard the issue that I made interlocutory decisions in favour of the prosecution in the matter, my response here is simple. And that is, that I am entitled to give decisions in matters placed before me for adjudication having heard parties.”

“That is why there are appellate courts. If he is dissatisfied with those decisions, I think Emeka Etiaba (SAN) ought to know what to do. As regard the alleged non-release of the record of proceedings, I think Emeka Etiaba (SAN) is not fair to me at all. I will leave him to his conscience. He has an improper motive in this regard.”

“For the records, my lord, the defendant applied for the Certified True Copy of proceedings at the time proceedings were going on from day to day. I approved same and directed my secretary to type the proceedings.”

“The proceedings were bulky in nature because I heard the case from day to day. When the secretary concluded typing the proceedings, I abandoned all other matters before me and concentrated on checking the typed proceedings to be in line with what were in the court’s records.”

“When I proof-read the proceedings and was satisfied that it represents what transpired in the open court, I endorsed same for certification and released the proceedings to them on March 15, 2016.”

The judge adjourned the case to April 8

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